How HI Professionals Can Impact SDOH

Key points: Certain groups of the population tend to have a higher exposure to risk factors for disease. HI professionals are instrumental in collecting comprehensive data and creating action plans. Information on patients’ SDOH, such as living environment and work situation, can highly improve care.


“Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.”


SDOH can be grouped into five domains:


Economic Stability


Education Access and Quality


Health Care Access and Quality


Neighborhood and Built Environment


Social and Community Context




Certain groups of the population, especially those who have lower socioeconomic status, tend to have a higher exposure to risk factors for disease, which often leads to health issues and shorter lives.

To improve population health, health equity needs to become a priority in the health sector, and measures to reduce disparities must be integrated into health programs and services.




Usually, healthcare leadership focuses on clinical needs, but having HI professionals advocate for and prioritize SDOH screening and data aggregation is integral to health equity and giving everyone a fair chance at achieving their best health.


Information on patients’ SDOH, such as living environment and work situation, can highly improve care and in the best-case lead to a holistic approach.


Improvements in healthcare cannot be achieved until SDOH are addressed, collected, measured, and analyzed. This is where HIM professionals come into play to get relevant information and help improve ICD-10-CM coding for SDOH.


SDOH data are valuable in identifying barriers to care. Most healthcare organizations collect this data, but often struggle to synthesize clinically relevant information into an actionable plan.


“HI professionals can assist in creating a standardized, easy-to-administer screening tool, and determining a way to automate it through patient-facing digital technologies that don’t rely on caregivers to complete. Alternately, they can integrate prompts in the EHR to indicate when a patient needs to be screened and what for, plus add prompts and alerts in the clinical workflow for the care team. It’s difficult to contact patients after they leave, so having these reminders populate in real time is important.”


HI professionals are instrumental in collecting data and creating action plans. Addressing social determinants of health and the root causes of health inequity will create better outcomes and save costs.




We at PCG are proud to celebrate HI professionals during AHIMA HIP WEEK, April 15 – 19, 2024, and help your organization implement technologies and practices to improve patient care and reduce costs. Contact us today.





Partner Advertisement

Latest Posts

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.
Read more from our blog

Related Posts